Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tier Updates

        This news is a bit late, but I have updated the Current Tier List here on the site with the recent adjustments and bans made by Smogon. Below is a brief insight of my reaction to the bans, and how I think they will affect/are affecting their respective metagames.

1. Deoxys-S 

        Holding its place as the fastest Pokemon in the entire game since its release in Ruby and Sapphire, Deoxys's Speed Form boasts decent Attack and Special Attack (both base 95) and even reasonable Defenses (both 90) to become one of the best revenge killers/support Pokemon, respectively with its blistering Speed. Its movepool does nothing but further its versatility, with moves like Superpower, Ice Beam, and Hidden Power Fire (to name a few) allowing it to deal with the vast majority of its common counters. Furthermore, Taunt, Magic Coat, Stealth Rock, and Spikes optimize it as a quick go-to Pokemon in team support. It also gets both Reflect and Light Screen to work as an excellent Double Screener.

        And with all of these above assets, it would seem Deoxys-S is very broken (like most Deoxys forms) to begin with. The fact that it can be countered by things like Tyranitar and Scizor is only counteracted by the fact that it can run both Superpower and Hidden Power Fire to dispatch of these two. It also gets Taunt to stop stall teams dead in their tracks (bar Magic Bouncers). So for the reasons that Deoxys-S was perhaps one of the most versatile Pokemon in the OU metagame, and that it could essentially destroy anything and everything that can stop it (though not all in one set), it has again been placed in the Uber tier, where it ideally belongs. This is sad news for most Hyper-Offensive teams who would otherwise abuse Deoxys' amazing assets to get their team to victory, but overall I don't think the metagame has shifted or will shift too drastically in response to this ban.

2. Hippowdon 

        With Stoutland as its watch dog in UU, Hippowdon quickly soared in usage after being downgraded for not being used enough in OU. And with this dream team along with great abusers such as Alakazam, Cradily, Donphan and Gligar to name a few, Sand easily became one of the most popular playstyles in the Underused tier. Perhaps too popular, however, as Smogon saw fit to get Hippo out of there before things got too hectic.

        As a Pokemon, ignoring the fact that it summons Sandstorm immediately, Hippowdon is really not bad at all. Boasting an equal typing to fellow mammal-based Donphan, Hippo also wields higher base HP, which with its only slightly lower Attack and Defense stats almost makes it superior. It also has access to recovery in the form of Slack Off, optimizing its place as a defensive Pokemon. Add this to the ability to lay Stealth Rocks on the field, and you have yourself one very efficient UU threat. Sand Stream was just the icing on the ban-hammer cake for this desert-dweller.

In Other News

        Scizor also dethroned Dragonite as king of OU in the previous month as the tandem of U-Turning/Volt Switch Rot-Zor (Rotom and Scizor) becomes steadily more popular and annoying. Sand teams also take the trophy for most popular weather type, with big beasts like Terrakion and Landorus shaking things up in a good way. Both previously-dominant weather types (Sand and Rain) are also a lot less broken now with the banishment of Thundurus and Excadrill a few months ago, though Latios should be noted as a superbly underrated Rain abuser.

        And in UU, Roserade remains one of the most efficient threats, with her ability to back up her hazard-setting with a heavy base 125 Special Attack and STAB Leaf Storm. Magic Guard Alakazam also continues to rise in popularity, with Darmanitan and Chandelure being noted for their blessed arrival from OU.

So that's the major ideas in a nutshell for you! I hope you will all get out there and try the current OU and UU metagame, both of which are quite fun now with the recent bans. I will have a guide and a Competitive Pokemon Analysis up soon!

Happy Holidays!

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